The price of the fast pace of technological change is often a lack of time for learning all of it. Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, establishes personal learning goals each year. The United Technologies’ Employee Scholar Program also helps employees “pursue lifelong learning.” As such, Bart Perkins, in an article for Computerworld, says organizations need to encourage employees to continue acquiring new skills throughout their careers. He offers some guidelines:
- Recruit individuals who enjoy learning.
- Identify interdisciplinary skill requirements.
- Identify training sources.
Learning More Is Earning More
Learning takes place throughout life and can occur anywhere and anytime, whether in a formal or casual manner. In order to have a team who values the process of learning, make it clear in your recruitment process that you believe the most successful IT staff are those who enjoy learning new things and taking on challenges along the way. Learning can help your team grow necessary skills that enable the ability to adapt to each shift in the marketplace.
Although employees like exploring new things, many may find it hard to spend their valuable time after work on improving their skills, or they simply don’t know where to gain a vast source of knowledge. Employers can give a hand in providing traditional or online sources, especially courses from colleges and universities. Massive open online courses (MOOC) such as Coursera, edX, and Udacity are also known for a wide variety of major university courses. Many of them are free, charging only if the student wants a certificate of completion or access to forums and instructors. Perkins adds this:
At the very least, encourage employees to take advantage of organizations dedicated to shedding light on leading-edge ideas. TED, IdeaFestival and the Aspen Institute sponsor presentations from creative thinkers around the globe. Although these forums don’t offer certifications or certificates of completion, they provide wonderful opportunities to explore current research, expert opinions, and emerging business endeavors. Encourage staff to expand their thinking to include new perspectives, new ideas, and new possibilities.
Learning shouldn’t be a pain, or be done with force. It should be a pleasure and a privilege as you can explore new things about yourself and others. Life is too short to just sit back and feel pleased with what you know about the world. You can view the original article here: http://www.computerworld.com/article/3177442/it-careers/lifelong-learning-is-no-longer-optional.html